BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III
Since the marginalized sectors are the most affected by the pandemic, the Bacolod City government launched its mobile inoculation drive yesterday to make vaccination more accessible to the public.
Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia said the city’s goal is to make the vaccination program more accessible to everyone so that herd immunity can be achieved to eradicate Covid as fast as possible.
The mobile vaccine program or Vax-i, Leonardia said, is his administration’s commitment to inoculate as many Bacolodnons, particularly those from the marginal sectors.
“If Muhammad cannot go to the mountain, let the mountain go to Muhammad,” Leonardia said, apparently referring to the fact that vendors, drivers, and those in the fringes of society cannot easily leave work and line up for long hours to get vaccinated; otherwise, they will have no income for the day to feed their families.
Executive director Em Ang of the Emergency Operations Center told the DAILY STAR that the program will benefit the drivers and the public market vendors, among others, who do not have time to line up at the vaccination centers.
“In this way, they do not need to skip their work for the day and their daily income will not be affected because we will bring the vaccinators to the terminals and the public markets,” Ang said.
The Vax-i bus, with doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers on board, who will administer Covid-19 vaccines to members of the marginalized sectors, will start roaming around the city today, Acting City Health Officer Edwin Miraflor said.
Miraflor said they will start with the market vendors, who continue to provide residents with their essential needs during this time of the pandemic, and they hope to inoculate 200 vendors each from the Libertad, Central, and Burgos public markets today.
He said the Vax-i will be where it is needed, especially to those considered as the most vulnerable in the society.
With this innovation and the arrival of more vaccines, Ang said it is not remote that Bacolod will attain herd immunity soon.
Bacolod has, so far, received 254,860 combined doses of Moderna, Sinovac, AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech, and Johnson and Johnson’s Janssen vaccines, EOC records showed.
She said that around 200,000 out of 600,000 residents of Bacolod have been inoculated and nearly 70,000 were fully vaccinated.
Fely Mendoza, 59, of Brgy. 2, Bacolod, a vegetable vendor at the Bacolod Central Market, said she is elated with the mobile vaccination program of the city government since she need not go to the vaccination center anymore.
Mendoza, who has been selling for three decades now, said that although she has reservations about the vaccines, especially since she has comorbidities, she is willing to take the risk and be inoculated.
Tricycle driver Nonoy Lopez, a member of the Barangay Sum-ag Tricycle Drivers Association, said he wanted to be vaccinated but has no time to go to the vaccination center so with the implementation of the mobile vaccination, he can get the jab soon.
A similar sentiment was expressed by jeepney driver Roder Razo, 30, who said that he wants to be vaccinated so that he could continue his livelihood especially since the national government has warned that the movement of those unvaccinated will be limited once the country has attained herd immunity.
He said the mobile vaccination program will be a big help, especially for people like them whose time is devoted to make a living for their families.
Present during the launching of the mobile vaccination program yesterday were Ang, Miraflor, Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, Congressman Greg Gasataya, and other city officials.*